PC and Net lead 75 years worth of innovation

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The personal computer and the internet took top honours as the greatest innovations of the past 75 years, according to a poll released last week, beating out major scientific and medical breakthroughs such as the discovery of DNA and the creation of a vaccine for polio.

More than half of the 500 senior-level business executives named the PC (56 percent) and the internet (51 percent) among the last three-quarters-of-a-century's biggest deals.

The discovery of DNA came in a close third (49 percent), but even television (34 percent) beat out the 1950s' polio vaccine.

Although the results might indicate a generational bias, the same poll also identified mid-century political leaders Mahatma Ghandi (56 percent), Martin Luther King, Jr (45 percent), and Franklin Delano Roosevelt (42 percent) as the most innovative.

On the down side, survey respondents named reduced research and development spending (46 percent) and the state of public education (45 percent) as the biggest barriers to additional innovation.

Not surprisingly, only 36 percent of the corporate bureaucrats polled said that corporate bureaucracy was stymieing innovation.

Copyright © 2004 CMP Media LLC

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